Electrical installation enables biomass co-generation

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WEG has designed and installed an electrical system for biomass energy generation at a major sugarcane processing mill in Mexico. As the first co-generation project in the country, the scheme reuses sugarcane bagasse as a renewable energy resource to generate nearly 155GWh of electricity per year, which would be enough to supply around 28,000 homes with power for 12 months.

Located in Tres Valles city, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, Tres Valles mill, which is part of the PIASA group, has a daily capacity of processing more than 12 tons of sugarcane. Since 2010, it has used a renewable energy source by reusing sugarcane bagasse, simultaneously generating electricity and thermal energy (steam). This energy is used in the average production of 1500 tons of sugar per day. With the electrical package installation designed and supplied by WEG, the plant has now began to generate enough power to redirect excess energy to other companies of the group and, potentially, even supply the electrical grid.

WEG’s complete electrical package for Tres Valles comprises a SPW1250 generator (50,000KVA, 13.8KV, 4 Poles, 60Hz), control panel, measurement and generator protection, control centres for medium and low-voltage motors, medium-voltage drives, a medium-voltage soft-starter, and a substation and transmission line. The company also provided Tres Valles with all necessary commissioning and start-up services.

While replacing equipment that had completed over 35 years of service, WEG’s electrical installation has brought many other benefits to the Tres Valles mill. Production costs have been significantly reduced by facilitating the replacement of fossil fuel with bagasse biofuel to generate electricity, along with huge reductions in environmental impact. Carbon dioxide emissions of over 3.6 million tons annually – comparable with that from 70,000 cars – have been eliminated while increasing throughputs for grinding and sugar preparation.

Guillermo Mendoza, the coordinator of cogeneration projects at PIASA Group explains: “Thanks to WEG’s support, we are being recognised by the government as the first cogeneration project at a plant in Mexico and received the Technological Innovation award from CONACYT. The Tres Valles solution has now become a model for the company and the plant’s excess energy is redirected to other companies of the group and, overall, we estimate that we will be able to obtain a return on investment in six years.”

Drawing upon its successful cooperation with WEG at Tres Valles, the PIASA Group is now due to install a boiler of 250TVH, 87bar, 525°C and a turbine with a 50MW generator at its Adolfo Lopez Mateos plant. Operation is scheduled to start in November 2017.

Go to for more about WEG’s electrical installations and services.

30 June 2016

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